Kids are heading back to in-person school. Your vaccinated friends are going on vacation. Newsfeeds are showing a light at the end of the pandemic.
Are we post-COVID yet?
Not quite, fundraisers. Right now, we find ourselves living in two realities:
- Many people are hurting. Many families have yet to recover from the economic fallout of 2020. And from increased demand for services to lost event revenue and more, COVID-19 continues to strain nonprofits.
At the same time …
- Many people can help. Many canceled their vacations, cooked meals at home, cut their commutes, and curbed daily expenses, all while working and collecting stimulus checks.
This is likely why so many people upped their charitable donations last year — or gave for the first time. If you don’t communicate with these donors, they might think it’s now time to “go back to normal.” But, to put it bluntly, this is no time to let your donors off the hook!
Now is the time to affirm your donors’ support and convey continued urgency to give. While COVID-19 is probably not at the forefront of your messaging this year, it’s still very relevant to your fundraising.
Be sure to:
- Affirm donor connection and remind your donors why they were drawn to your mission in the first place. Remind them that while COVID-19 brought so many things to a halt, cancer, hunger, homelessness, or whatever problem you’re working to solve hasn’t stopped.
- Welcome the new donors you acquired because of the COVID-19 crisis. Acknowledge how important their contribution was, and show them what their continued generosity can accomplish. This is crucial to retaining these donors (particularly new sustainer donors).
- Be upfront with your donors. Articulate the challenges you still face and urge donors to be part of the solution.
- Are you experiencing a surge in demand as people begin to leave their homes once again? For example, medical charities may be challenged to serve patients who delayed routine screenings and care.
- Are new social distancing protocols forcing you to do more with fewer volunteers?
- Are you stretched to pay for new investments like enhanced sanitation or remote technology?
- Keep connecting with your donors online! People got used to spending time online during the pandemic. Older donors feel more comfortable than ever before making online donations, joining Zoom events, and engaging with their favorite charities on social media. Keep up the multichannel conversation.
- Encourage monthly giving to further your cause now and in the days ahead. As you approach new donors for their second gift, or steward those who stepped up in a big way last year, make it easy for them to commit to a recurring donation for the causes they’re passionate about.
Hopefully, the worst days of the pandemic are behind us. But that doesn’t mean you should stop asking your donors to change the world. Your good communication can help make sure that their “new normal” includes consistently showing up for those in need.
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